Romanian magistrates stage unprecedented protest against judicial changes

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Magistrates protested outside courthouses across Romania on Friday and many prosecutors will stop work next week, in an unprecedented protest against changes in judicial legislation that have raised alarm bells over the rule of law.

Romania’s government used an emergency decree to alter the legislation on Tuesday, mostly stripping prosecutors of more of their powers. It was the latest in a series of changes the ruling Social Democrats have made in the past two years that have triggered massive street protests.

The European Commission, U.S. State Department and thousands of Romanian magistrates have said the changes threaten the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law.

State of emergency declared in Sudan by under-fire president



Racist, Genocidal and Terrorist war criminal Omar al-Bashir tries to hold on power is the people of North Sudan are protesting against him and his war criminal, racist, terroristic and genocidal government.

Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, has appointed a new prime minister, but left the country’s current defence, foreign and justice ministers in place following the declaration of a one-year state of emergency.

Just hours after announcing that he would dissolve the country’s central and state governments, Bashir appointed new state governors who were all from the military, according to a presidency statement.

Bashir, who seized power in a 1989 coup, said on Friday he would postpone pushing for constitutional amendments that would allow him to seek a third term in office.

Facing genocide charges, Bashir’s rule has been rocked by civil wars and increasing street demonstrations. A heavy security crackdown has left scores of protesters dead. At least 57 people have been killed since December.

“Our country is passing through a difficult and complicated phase in our national history,” Bashir said in a speech televised live from the presidential palace in Khartoum. “We will get out of it stronger and more united and determined.”

In a rare acknowledgment, Bashir described the demands of the protesters as “legitimate” but said there were attempts to exploit the youth protests “to take the country to the unknown”

The state of emergency will give the security forces a free hand in cracking down on protesters and carrying out detentions and it places heavier restrictions on the press and opposition parties.

The announcements were instantly met with street demonstrations, demanding Bashir step down. Witnesses said riot police fired teargas and arrested a number of protesters.

Sudan has been gripped by nationwide protests since 19 December. The demonstrations, which show no sign of abating, were triggered by rising prices and shortages but quickly turned to calls for Bashir to step down.

Bashir’s term ends in 2020 and he has repeatedly promised not to make new runs for the presidency. Without amending the constitution, he cannot run for a third term. His announcement came days after a parliamentary committee that is amending the constitution to scrap presidential term limits cancelled its meetings.

The Sudanese Professional Association, which is spearheading the country’s demonstrations, warned of any measures that could “turn against” the demands of the Sudanese people and vowed that it would respond with escalating street protests.

“The demands of this revolution are crystal clear,” the statement said. “The regime and its head must step down.”

However, Bashir warned the opposition of the “zero sum” game that created chaos, pointing to the wave of the Arab spring uprisings that led to civil wars in countries such as Libya and Yemen.

As he was speaking in the presidential palace, dozens of protesters were taking to the streets in Khartoum and other places, chanting, “just fall”.

Shelving intentions to amend the constitution to pave the way for a third term in office appears to be the only political concession Bashir has made so far after two months of demonstrations.

“What Bashir presented are tactics to keep his regime alive,” said Mubarak al-Mahdi of the Umma party. “Declaring a state of emergency means suppressing freedom of expression and demonstration and tightening grip on the revolution.”

Sudan’s main opposition groups called for a four-year transitional government followed by elections.


“Canadian Arabic Newspaper Called Terrorist Attack on Synagogue a ‘Qualitative Attack,


An article on Al Forqan newspaper distributed in Canada and the United States described a terrorist attack against a synagogue in Jerusalem as a “qualitative attack” carried out by “two heroes.” Six were killed in the attack: five worshippers and a policeman.

The Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) took responsibility for the attack.

Al Forqan is a Canadian Arabic newspaper based in Windsor, Ontario. According to its website,1 “Al Forqan is a daily online newspaper and a monthly printed newspaper issued by the Al Forqan Media Foundation, Editor and Managing Director Mohamad Hisham Khalifeh, and a group of administrators and highly qualified individuals.”

Al Forqan states:2

An independent, political, and cultural newspaper, it does not follow any political party yet pursues a policy of truth and justice and includes sections on education, culture, sports, and society. Al Forqan is a contemporary newspaper, which deals with life affairs and includes topics of interest to all segments of society (Arab and Canadian writers, elite, doctors, professors, and professionals).

Distribution: The administrators purposely made the distribution of the newspaper free to ensure that it reaches all segments of society. The newspaper consists of 16 pages (eight in color), five of which in English and the other 11 in Arabic, with over 10,000 copies distributed each month in the Windsor, London, and Michigan areas (including all shops, mosques, and residential complexes).

The opinions expressed in the articles published on this website are strictly those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Al Forqan Newspaper, its publishers or employees.

In Issue 23, November – December 2014, Al Forqan published an unsigned article titled “The incidents in Al-Quds – is this the spark of a looming intifada?” Here is an excerpt from the article (originally in Arabic):3

In light of all this pressure by the occupation, a number of young [Palestinian] Jerusalemites carried out independent vehicular attacks and stabbing operations that caused the death and injury of a number of settlers and soldiers of the occupation. Yehuda Glick, the engineer of storming the Al-Aqsa [mosque], did not escape the bullets of the [Palestinian] Jerusalemites when he was the target of an assassination attempt. He was seriously injured but was saved from death. [The most important operation] was the qualitative attack carried out by two heroes in the Jewish synagogue in which five [six] Zionists were killed, in a natural response to the repeated crimes perpetrated by the Zionist entity against Al-Aqsa Mosque and the residents of Palestine and [the city of] Al-Quds [Jerusalem].


“The qualitative attack” mentioned in Al Forqan’s article refers to the terrorist attack that took place on November 18, 2014, in the Kehilat Bnei Torah in the Har Nof neighborhood in Jerusalem. Two terrorists armed with a handgun and cleavers stormed the synagogue, attacking the Jewish worshippers during the morning prayer. A police officer and five Jewish worshippers were killed in the attack.


Claiming “Credit”

The Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) officially claimed responsibility for the attack. The following are excerpts from PFLP’s statement on November 15, 2015:4

…the first anniversary of the martyrdom in the path of Allah  of our comrades [members of PFLP], the fighters, residents of steadfast community of Jabal Al-Mukaber in [the city of] occupied Al-Quds, that ignites the intifadas, members of the Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades [military/terror wing of PFLP], perpetrators of the heroic Dir Yassin Operation in the Jewish synagogue in the occupied [city of] Al-Quds:

The martyr in the path of Allah, the fighter, the comrade [member of PFLP], the hero, Uday Abed Abu Jamal.

The martyr in the path of Allah, the fighter, the comrade [member of PFLP], the hero, Ghassan Mohammad Abu Jamal.

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